Film quickly gets removed from site

“Live Free or Die Hard” was living a free if illegal existence in cyberspace over the July Fourth holiday.

A copy was unlawfully uploaded Wednesday and then removed Thursday from iklipz.com, a year-old, filmmaker-friendly website for independents. The feature was viewed 29 times.

After a junior exec spoke up at the weekly iklipz Thursday staff meeting, company prexy Arthur Cohen, the former marketing head for Paramount Pictures, called producer Larry Gordon and 20th Century Fox co-chairman Jim Gianopulos to let them know he was removing the feature. “Forgetting copyright issues,” he said, “it’s not fair.”

An iklipz member in Tucson, Ariz., who described herself as a 38-year-old female, uploaded the movie, which Fox released on June 27. She declined to disclose where she obtained the movie, the online version of which was high resolution, but gave the URLs for two popular sites where summer hits are easy to find. Many peer-to-peer sites that use BitTorrent file-sharing are private and members-only to avoid detection from the MPAA police.

Iklipz’s streaming flash player, which was “very expensive and cannot be pirated,” Cohen said, was designed by Faction Creative’s Bill Snebold. Iklipz supports films on their server, which improves the quality of the streaming video. Iklipz sent the member who posted “Live Free or Die Hard” a warning outlining copyrighted materials guidelines.

Iklipz boasts some 10,000 members who are encouraged to “see, show and share” their shorts, features and clips. The studios supply the site with trailers.

Supported by advertising, iklipz is registering 700,000-800,000 page views per month but got 2.5 million in May. So far, more than 5,000 films have been uploaded.

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